Tom Brady was already motivated with the Buccaneers but he may have more fuel.
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has never been a stranger to playing with a chip on his shoulder. Despite all his career accomplishments and praise from his peers, Brady has spent most of his career feeling like he still has to prove himself as a former sixth-round pick.
He knew he had to fight to originally create a spot on the roster for himself and he carried the same mentality throughout all of his career highs and most certainly his career lows.
Now entering his 21st season in the league, Brady joined the Buccaneers already with something to prove. The move to another franchise after such a long career created enough motivation and a new chip on Tom Brady’s shoulder. It wouldn’t have mattered what his former team, the Patriots, did because he needed to justify to the Buccaneers that their faith in him was not in vain.
All of a sudden, Brady has even more fuel added to his fire with the news of Cam Newton agreeing to sign with New England, Brady’s recent ex. With Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterbacks for the Patriots, it would have been easy for Brady to surpass them statistically.
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No matter how successful the Patriots could be in the win-loss department, Brady would create a what-if argument due to his play with the Buccaneers. The answer to who had the better quarterback play seemed to be easy even before the season began. Now things have changed and Brady’s mindset has surely changed as well.
Cam Newton in New England should change Tom Brady’s mindset.
Cam Newton’s career accomplishments certainly do not rival Brady’s — but he is a former MVP who has played in a Super Bowl. Unlike Brady, he is also a former No. 1 overall draft pick. He is a blue-chipper who was recruited heavily in college, won a National Championship and was immediately drafted to be the face of the Carolina Panthers.
He didn’t have to fight for his spot on the roster from day one. Instead, he was handed the keys to the car and was allowed to grow as the offense was built around him. If he is even 80-90 percent healthy, he is one of the top ten most physically talented quarterbacks in the NFL. Matched with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, Newton and the Patriots offense could be lethal this season.
Now Brady will have to listen to comparisons between himself and Newton all season. This will serve as added motivation for a quarterback who has often been a perfectionist throughout his career. Both quarterbacks will be playing in new systems and each coaching staff will surely cater to the styles and strengths of each quarterback into their offensive playcalling.
For a win in his mental game against the Patriots, Brady will have now have to outperform them in both the win column and the statistical column. Before adding Newton, most thought the Patriots wouldn’t be able to compare quarterback play with Brady until next year at the earliest. Now they have the chance to outperform the Buccaneers and their quarterback outperform Brady.
If the Patriots can bring the best out of Newton while also changing their style of play to make the best of his strengths they will come out looking like geniuses due to his salary for 2020.
The team has seemingly wanted to play with a more mobile quarterback than the statuesque Brady for a while and has shown some of the tricks they may have up their sleeve when Jimmy Garropolo started and during Stidham’s games last preseason. If Newton can put up MVP type numbers, it will hurt the narrative of the team being foolish for letting Brady walk away for nothing.
Brady only has two to three years left to outperform the Patriots and now the given 2020 victory has seemingly evaporated. The sense of urgency he has played with throughout his career has been heightened even more and we could see record-breaking numbers from his as a result.
He’s already had a head start with the informal workouts he has had with his teammates and he has been able to learn the offense since signing his contract at the end of March. He is less of a dynamic athlete than Newton, but he has consistently been the better and more accurate quarterback.
Brady’s motivation has rarely been questioned throughout his career, and with the Patriots adding Newton to replace him, a whole new set of logs has been thrown onto the already burning fire. He has been traded in for a younger and sleeker model. He surely won’t let this narrative be carried through the entire season.